Marty Balin, a founder, lead singer and songwriter of the groundbreaking San Francisco psychedelic band Jefferson Airplane and a key member of that band’s 1970s successor, Jefferson Starship, died on Thursday in Tampa, Fla. He was 76.
His death was announced on Friday by his wife, Susan Joy Balin. A representative, Ryan Romenesko, said Mr. Balin, who lived in Tampa, had died en route to a hospital. No cause of death was given.
Mr. Balin was a prime mover in the flowering of psychedelic rock in mid-1960s San Francisco, not only as a founding member of Jefferson Airplane in 1965, but also as an original owner of the Matrix, a club that opened that year and nurtured bands and artists like the Grateful Dead, Big Brother and the Holding Company, Santana and Steppenwolf.
Mr. Balin’s voice could offer the intimate solace of ballads like Jefferson Airplane’s “Today,” the siren wails of a frantic acid-rocker like the group’s “Plastic Fantastic Lover,” or the soul-pop entreaties of Jefferson Starship’s “Miracles.”
Services will be held at a later date.
David C. Gross Funeral Homes, Central Avenue Chapel in St. Petersburg is serving the family.